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If you are a homeowner in Vancouver and realize that you have a problem in the water lines, you might be filled with a sudden sense of dread. All you can think about is the huge cost and total disruption to your yard that finding and fixing the problem will take.

The great news is that trenchless pipe repair is a simple solution to clogged, cracked, and broken pipes. It is cost-effective, quick, and does not cause the kind of disruption that old pipe repair jobs used to.

What’s Changed?


In the past when a homeowner was suspicious that their pipes were in trouble, they would call a repair company to come in and assess the situation. From there, it often involved some guesswork to find where the problem was, and then excavation would begin that completely disrupted the landscape.


Today, trenchless pipe repair is becoming the go-to solution for pipe damage and water line problems in Vancouver. Thanks to advances in technology, this method is simple and effective. First, a repair company will come in and feed a tool that is essentially a camera affixed to a flexible wire through the pipes. The camera feed provides a clear picture of what is going on in the pipes. This non-invasive approach provides an accurate assessment of where and what the exact nature of the problem is.

2 Main Trenchless Repair Options


There are generally two trenchless repair options that pipe repair companies in Vancouver use to fix the problem once it’s found. They can either access the line from one end and feed a new pipe through to replace it. Or the older system can be lined with a new pipe and sealed off, preventing any further issues. Either way, these new methods are highly resistant to further damage like cracking or breaking. Once they are done, they should last many, many years to come.


Trenchless water line repair in Vancouver has a lot of benefits. For one, it is much more cost-effective and accurate and can be done in less time. The old method required some guesswork, which is basically eliminated from the trenchless method. Also, gardens and lawns are kept intact, and that is great news for the ecosystem of plants and animals that live there. Homeowners are relieved that they won’t need to redo the landscaping surrounding the problem, in fact, it probably won’t be disturbed at all.


Pipe repair in Vancouver has greatly benefitted from these advancements in technology. The small cameras are high def and can worm through the pipes to not only provide a clear picture of where the damage is, but exactly why the damage happened in the first place. From there, repairs are much easier to get done.


Damage does happen, especially in Vancouver where the landscape is lush and full of rain — sometimes flash flooding and a lot of rainfall. Roots are a regular source of damage to older pipes as they grow and exploit any cracks in the existing pipes. So while pipe repair needs to happen every now and again, the good news is that trenchless repair can be done quickly and with very little disruption to the surrounding system.


Give us a call at CERC Drainage if you suspect your pipes need fixing!

Many people aren’t even aware that residential oil tanks exist. In another time, they were a popular choice for heating homes and buildings, though there are better alternatives available today.

In Canada, all residential oil tanks are required to be registered and owners must follow regulations. For example, any oil tank over 25 years old is not allowed to be refilled, and if not in use, they must be removed.

Keeping an oil tank underground on your property, either buried underground or above ground, is no longer seen as a necessary, or even safe, the thing to do. We are going to list some reasons you might want to consider oil tank removal.

Reasons For Removing the Oil Tank


1. Environmental Protection

Regardless if they are above or below ground, oil tanks degrade over time, allowing the contents to seep out and poison the surrounding land.


This has many negative consequences, from damaging wildlife to rendering the soil unusable. The sooner you have the oil tank removed, the better it is for the environment. The sooner your remove the tank, the less clean up and remediation you will need if the tank eventually leaks and contaminates the land.


2. Save Money

While it might seem like oil tank removal is expensive upfront, there are long term cost savings. Actually, all of the following points will relate back to saving money in the long run.


3. Resale Value

Related to the above point, oil tank removal might be a necessary cost at some point if you are considering selling your home. Most buyers today will require an old oil tank removed before they make an offer because it can affect their insurance and mortgage options.

Also, if the land is already damaged from a leak, it will affect your opportunities to sell your home or property.


4. Maintenance Costs

If you decide to keep the oil tank on your property for a while longer, you will have to accept that there are going to be maintenance costs that come along with it. Oil tanks need to be inspected regularly for leaks and repaired immediately if they show signs of degradation.


5. City Bylaws

Having an oil tank on your property in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland is subject to a long list of city bylaws that the owner is responsible for understanding and following. The bylaws are there to protect citizens and the community and there are consequences for not following them. Please view the Residential Heating Oil Storage Tanks in BC or Bylaws in Vancouver.


6. Energy Efficiency

While oil tanks were a popular heat source because of cost and efficiency, times are changing. There are plenty of other options that don’t come with the high costs that accompany oil tanks.


7. Preparing for Renovations

If you are planning to do major Renos to your home or building, removing an old oil tank might be required. Even if it’s not required, it might be a great time to just get the job done — especially if you are landscaping or doing something like building a deck or pouring a new driveway.


If you live in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland and have questions about the oil tank on your property and how to remove it, give us a call. We are standing by to help!

Being a home or building owner comes with certain maintenance responsibilities. Roofs need replacing every so often, for example, and it’s important to keep an eye on other utilities and elements around the home.

Sewer line repair is a little more difficult to set on a maintenance calendar because damage can happen suddenly and it’s not always easy to know right away if the sewer line is in need of repair. There are some signs to watch out for, and as a homeowner it is important to know what you are working with.

Signs to Repair the Sewer line

Some home/building owners can go decades without needing to do sewer line repairs. You may have to deal with clogs every now and again, but the life span of sewer lines is usually very long, especially with modern materials.

If your home was constructed before 1980, the builder may have installed clay pipes to create the main sewer line. Clay pipes can be damaged by root growth and even in perfect conditions, last 50-60 years. They are no longer used in new homes and buildings.

Since 1980, polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, plastic pipes became the industry standard and they are designed to last for a very long time — we are still waiting to see exactly how long! They are very durable and not susceptible to things like roots and corrosion, but damage can still happen.

A sewer line may need repair from one of several circumstances. In Vancouver, nearby construction is often a culprit in problems down the line. Of course, there are measures in place to try and prevent damage to sewage lines, but unfortunately not all construction is done with strict adherence to policy and safety.

1. Ground Movement

Another problem for Vancouver and the surrounding area is a ground movement like earthquakes and tremors. Not all are felt but Vancouver does have activity like this regularly. Again, building codes are created to withstand fairly severe ground movement, but there are situations that can cause damage.

2. Root Growth

Vancouver also prides itself on its green spaces and large, old trees, which have strong, growing roots that work their way through and around whatever is in their way. Roots are a constant source of concern for sewage lines. Soil conditions might also corrode pipes over time.

3. Shoddy Installation

Finally, shoddy installation can cause sewer line leaks or damage sooner than you would expect.

Sewer line repair can cause dread in people as they imagine huge disruptions and a giant trench through their yard. Fortunately modern technology means that there are sewer line repair options that are less disruptive. With cameras and other high-tech tools, smaller sections can be identified and repaired.

It’s important to watch for signs to catch the problem while there are still a lot of options for smaller repairs. Ongoing drainage problems in sinks and the tub can indicate larger problems down the sewer line, and call a drainage expert if you are smelling sulphur or worse. If you notice any kind of back up and there is construction nearby, again, call an expert to come to assess the problem.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sewer line maintenance and repair.

If you need sewer line repair in Vancouver, please contact CERC drainage.

Most sewer backups give off warning signs before they become big problems. Usually the problem builds up over time, and so if you are paying attention, you can catch the signals that show there is a major blockage occurring somewhere down the line. (There are exceptions, of course, like flash flooding or sudden weather systems that cause instant damage.)

Pipes do get clogged over time — grease, hair, toilet paper. You may have even heard of the “fatbergs” plaguing certain cities’ sewer systems. For homes, it’s important to take proper care of your drainage, keeping things like “disposable” wet wipes and grease out of the pipes as much as possible.

Even so, sewer backup can still happen. If you notice any of the following, there is a chance that things are going haywire in the pipes and that a sewer backup is coming for you.

Warning Signs of Sewer Backup

Warning Sign #1 – Bad smell

You know what we’re talking about here. The stench can resemble rotten eggs or much worse, and you can trace the source directly back to the sewage pipes. If there is an unpleasant odour coming up from your drain, it’s a good idea to think about addressing the problem by calling your local drainage experts.

Warning Sign #2 – Slow drain

If you are having a shower and notice that the water is rising around your ankles rather than draining, there’s a good chance that there is a blockage down the pipes and that the worst is yet to come. You might also notice this problem occurring in a sink after you wash the dishes. This is a sign that people often ignore for a while but we recommend you taking action as soon as you notice a lag in how quickly the water is draining.

Warning Sign #3 – A little bit of back up

This might take the form of soap residue that’s drying high up around the basin of the sink or tub orbits of foreign things floating in the toilet after a flush. This is usually a very clear sign that there are major problems in your pipes.

Warning Sign #4 – Bubbles

Yes, bubbles. Air can get trapped while water is trying to get past an obstruction in a drain, and this can cause bubbles too, well, bubble up. It can happen in the toilet, sink or tub and once you notice them, an alarm should go off in your head that something isn’t right.

Like with many home maintenance things, keeping an eye on things so you can catch them before they turn disastrous always pays off. This is especially true for drainage and pipes. We know the quick fix might be pouring very harsh chemicals down the drain and hoping for the best, but it’s usually not the best solution for these problems.

Calling in professionals who have the tools and technology to go in, assess the problem and properly fix the damage might seem like a hassle, but it’s actually a surefire way of protecting your home against a full-blown catastrophe. You will wish you had done it if you are cleaning up the mess from a sewer back up.

Please contact our professional if you need any help.

There are plenty of things we take for granted that make our lives easy and comfortable – especially the utilities that keep the lights on, the house warm, and the water running.

The water line that runs into your home is a pressurized system that sends water to gush forth from the faucet when you open the tap. It’s an impressive feat of engineering and city planning but since it is out of sight, most people probably spend very little time thinking about it.

Like anything, the water line can undergo damage and may eventually need water line repair or replacement. But how will you know?

Here are four common signals that the water line to your home is in need of some attention.

Four Common Signals Your Waterline Need Repair

Reduced water pressure

If you get into the shower and there is a slow trickle rather than the usual blast of water, or if you’ve noticed a drop in water pressure when you turn the tap on to wash your hands, there is a good chance the water line needs some attention.

Appliances not working correctly

If it appears that your dishwasher or washing machine seems to be leaving soapy residue or not getting things clean, there may be a lack of water feeding into the appliance. If you determine that the machine is functioning properly, there might be a problem further down the (water) line.

Spike in bills

If there is a sudden increase in your water bill, and no reasonable explanation for it (maybe you just got your garden in the ground and started watering it twice a day), there’s a chance that water is seeping out of the line before it gets to your faucets.

Pooling water

Have you noticed strange puddles of water dotting your yard or accumulating on your property, and it hasn’t rained in days? Or perhaps your lawn is soggy in areas that don’t make a lot of sense. A broken water line might be responsible for the appearance of pooling water.

Sound of water

Not to be mistaken with water moving through the pipes in the walls, a water line break or leak might produce a number of watery sounds, even with the taps off. If you are hearing gushing water or a constant drip that doesn’t seem to have a source, the cause might be a water line leak.

Contact us for water line repair or replacement.

If Vancouver and the Lower Mainland are known for one thing, it’s the rainy weather. While the rain makes the city and the landscape lush and green, it can also be the source of problems for our yards.

Backyard flooding is a common problem in Vancouver, and it is usually the result of a one of several issues. A swampy yard can be caused by excess run off from heavy rains or snow melt. Especially if you live at the bottom of a hill or are surrounded by higher elevation, run off might be a constant worry. Another common problem is old, inadequate or clogged drainage systems that have been previously installed around your property.

There are several ways to reduce standing water in the yard so that the problem is fixed for good.

In the case of run off, you can build a berm or small hill at a point in the water’s path. Since water always takes the path of least resistance, a berm will divert the water away from the yard and prevent it from getting swampy.

Another option is to install a dry well that will collect water when needed like during heavy rains or the odd city snow melt we get.

These solutions divert water while it is still on the surface and are useful when the water comes on fast and strong and doesn’t have time to percolate down into the soil.

Installing proper drainage like a french drain system is often the most effective and long-lasting solution, especially for prolonged standing water problems.

A french drain system consists of interconnecting perforated pipe in a simple grid that are installed below the soil. The water enters the pipe from above after it rains so that it can’t collect in puddles around the property. Once the water travels down through the soil and into the perforated pipe system, it is discharged at a low and convenient point somewhere else on the property.

French drain systems are usually installed during the building process, especially in a place like Vancouver. The beauty of these systems is that they are simple and incredibly effective, but they do need maintenance. Over time, roots can grow into them and sections can collapse as the ground shifts and the soil changes.

If the drainage around your yard is normally good but you have noticed an increase in standing water or it looks like a swamp out there, there is a good chance your french drain system needs some maintenance.

That’s where we come in. Our professional drainage team will come to your property and assess where the problem is. Don’t worry, we’ve seen it all! Often the problem requires replacing a section of pipe or flushing out the system from debris that has collected.

While we can’t do much about the weather, we can take care of our homes and property so that we have the best chance to prevent problems from becoming disasters. Drainage systems in a place like Vancouver need upkeep and we recommend making it part of your annual home maintenance check.

For any drainage needs, give us a call!

Standing water back yard flood drainage

Lots of older home repairs or renovations, especially in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, are going to include the replacement or repair of the drain tile system.

This system is designed to collect and redirect water seepage away from the house. Depending on the location and age of your home or building, drain tiles can be installed either on on the interior perimeter of the foundation or along the exterior as a house is being built. If the drain tiles become blocked or clogged, your crawl space or basement can incur water damage or even flood.

The problem living in an area that was once a rain forest is that there is a lot of rain, which affects our buildings and their durability. Over time, nature finds a way to take over and clog drain tile systems. Trees and their roots grow into (or create) cracks, soil and other organic material becomes more compact so the slope lessens, becomes flat, or even eventually causes a negative slope, which is a huge problem if left unchecked. These areas of neutral or reverse slope can fill with mud and debris, clogging the system and creating backflow and flooding.

Drain pipes damaged by tree roots needing replacement

Whether you are doing renovations or repairs, or you notice leaks in the basement, it is a good idea to start with the drain tile system.

If you have a clogged or failing drain tile system, there are a few things to be aware of, and you have a few options moving forward.

At first, you may be convinced that all you need is some high pressure water to blast out the drain tile system. This might sound like the most affordable option, but it rarely solves the actual problem, especially if there is a section of collapsed pipe or a section with a negative slope. You may see an improvement in the short term, which can take some of the pressure off while you prepare to do a more major fix.

The next best thing to do is repair the section that is clogged, collapsed or broken. You will likely need to hire professionals for this, who can come in and send a camera through the system to properly diagnose the flooding and standing water issues.

Providing there are only a couple of trouble spots, this might be all you need to move forward. However, you might not know the extent of the problem until you start fixing one section at a time.

If there is a suspicion that there are multiple trouble spots, an overhaul might be in order. While this might seem like a big deal in the moment, a new drainage system or full drain system replacement will use new, modern materials that are highly durable. Again, depending on the age of your home and the diagnostics from the drainage repair company, this might be the most cost effective in the long run.

In Vancouver, keeping water and moisture away from our homes is a constant battle, but improvements in techniques and materials is making a difference. The important thing is to be proactive. If you notice a leak in your basement, and you suspect it is from your drain tile system, call us right away. Better to start fixing the problem now, rather than letting it grow into a disaster. Get a Drain Cleaning or Repair Quote today.

If you are having water problems around your house or a building you own, it can be a very stressful situation. Maybe you’ve noticed water pooling around the perimeter of the building or that the basement walls are starting to show signs of moisture build up. Cracks or noticeable changes in the concrete foundation are a telltale sign that you need to take a closer look.

When you notice mystery puddles or damp walls, you might really start to panic with thoughts of major renovations or repairs, and the price tag that comes along with that.

But before you get ahead of yourself, it’s best to investigate. The problem might be with your drainage system, and the issue and the fix will depend on what kind of drain your house is using.

The two main kinds of drains are the French drain (weeping tile drains are a type of French drains) and the Trench drain. The main difference between them is that a French drain captures and removes water that has seeped into the ground, while trench drains remove surface water before it can saturate the ground.

Is one better than the other? Let’s take a closer look at each system.

French Drain System

The French drain was invented back in the 1800s and popularized in North America by Henry Flagg French. He was a busy man— as president of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, assistant secretary of the treasury, judge, lawyer, and agriculturalist.

The drain he developed begins with a trench containing a perforated pipe, which takes in ground water and redirects it away from the building. The trench is covered with rock or gravel. A weeping tile is a type of French drain, and protects a building from hydrostatic pressure. The pipe is usually installed much deeper in the ground in order to protect the foundation of a structure.

French drain repair

French drains are installed around the perimeter of the building’s exterior, or they are put in place underneath the basement floor in new builds. When heavy rainfall or snow melt begins, the moisture is drawn away from the property, rather than seeping into the walls and foundation.

Though new systems should be problem free for at least 10 years, it’s a good idea to perform regular inspections. Clogging can lead to flooded basements and other problems.

Trench Drain System

Trench drains, on the other hand, divert water away from the surface, usually over a long expanse. They are fairly basic, and mostly consist of a trench with a grate on top. They are often installed within a paved area, or around large-scale commercial buildings.

Since trench drains are above the surface, they are simple to maintain. They should also be inspected annually and cleared of any clogs or debris.

Neither drain is “better” than the other, they simply have different purposes. Your home likely has a French drain installed around the perimeter. If you own a commercial building, you may also have a trench drain system, especially around any paved area. Depending on the landscape you may need both!

In either case, if you have noticed any kind of moisture build up, the first thing you should do is call in drainage experts in order to do an Drain inspection, assessment and repairs. The problem may not be as bad as you imagine, but the sooner you deal with it, the better it will be.